Every good story has an emotional black moment where all seems lost. The hero laments in the ashes of his shattered dreams. Betrayal, abandonment, you-fill-in-the-blank, all prevent the desired happily-ever-after. There is no solution in sight. The villain is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than first thought. Evil celebrates certain victory—or so it seems.
This pivotal point in the story resonates with readers because good fiction is patterned after real-life. All our lives lead toward a black moment, a moment when we sit at the crossroads and know our choices, our lifestyle, our sin have separated us from God and there is nothing that we can do to recover and make it right. In that moment we fully recognize the cost of our sin—inevitable death. The black moment may be an exciting crisis point in a novel, but in real life it brings horrifying, soul-crushing, devastation.
In my black moment, the reality of my wretchedness fell heavy over me and I was incapable of taking it away. The weight of my sin devastated my lost soul. The enemy celebrated, whispering lies into my ear, “I have won. There is no hope.”
Us fiction-junkies know better than to close the book at the black-moment. We keep reading, clinging to the hope that somehow good is victorious. We don’t know how, we don’t know when, but we fervently flip the pages desperate to learn how good triumphs.
Good fiction is patterned after reality. In my darkness I longed for that last-minute rescue from my own wretched sin. Deep down, I wanted a hero to swoop in and save the day. I couldn’t fathom how it was possible, yet that hope burned inside refusing to die. In my darkness, God turned the page and I discovered that nothing—and I mean nothing—can derail God’s plans for His children.
Way back in history, a black moment came upon Egypt. The Israelites were demanding their release. Pharaoh refused. Judgement was coming. All the first-born sons were to die.
Years later, on a hill named Golgotha, darkness fell over the disciples. Everything they had believed in breathed His last on the cross. Evil stole Hope. The villain was bigger, stronger, and more powerful than first thought. With no answer in sight, the disciples lamented in the ashes of their shattered dreams. They had lost everything. This horrifying soul-crushing crossroads stole their happily-eve-after—or so it seemed.
If we stop reading here, both historical accounts end tragic. But God turns the page and reveals that nothing—and I mean nothing—can derail His plans for His children.
In Egypt, the people of God were instructed to sacrifice a perfect lamb and then take the blood from that lamb and spread it over their doorposts, marking the inhabitants of their homes as belonging to God. The Spirit of God would “passover” that home and allow the child to live.
Three days after Golgotha, Christ is risen from the dead proving that death has no hold on Him, or on all who believe in His name. That reality gives hope to every black moment. He will rescue all who call on His name. He will reveal the way of escape.
As a black-moment judgement comes to my wretched soul, I can, by God’s mercy, be saved by a passover of sorts. God has provided the perfect lamb, His Son—the Lamb of God. The blood of Christ is spilled once and for all and washes clean those who come to Him in repentance and faith. Christ’s blood marks me as His own when I surrender to God. The blood of Christ protects my soul from deserving judgement.
In that surrender I find, like Israelites and the disciples found, that in the midst of dark and desperate days, Hope is not dead. Whether it has been dark for 3 hours, 3 days, 3 years, or 3 decades, resurrection Sunday gives hope a name – His name is Jesus.
If you’re in a black moment, at a cross-roads, and all seems lost, don’t stop here. Evil doesn’t have to win. The page has been turned and you can surrender to Hope. His name is Jesus.